First Snow, Avalanche Creek
These mountains on the west side of Glacier National Park are over 9000 to 10,000 feet – the one directly above me had its first dusting of snow last night. The rivers and creeks run crystal clear, with a slight celadon tint from glacial melt. This particular spot is frequented by Grizzly bears, mountain lions (cougar), mountain goats and one plein air painter . . . that would be me, today.
I always pay special attention to details beyond the landscape when I work at these places, with a keen eye for movement, and ears tuned for growly sounds that don't belong to the river. It's a little like sleeping with one eye open and certainly adds a new sense of urgency to the task at hand.